CamDo’s guide to creating and editing a time lapse video using GoPro Studio

CamDo’s guide to creating and editing a time lapse video using GoPro Studio

This is the first in a series of education pieces to assist in the post production of your time lapse video using GoPro Studio.


GoPro Studio allows you to edit your GoPro footage to trim, combine clips, apply color effects and speed changes, music and titles, all using the built-in storyboard editor. Once complete, you can export your movie to various formats—YouTube, Vimeo or a high-quality Master file for archival purposes.

How to create a time lapse video from a set of GoPro images

STEP1: IMPORT

The VIEW & TRIM work area, or “VIEW & TRIM Room”, is where you view your source files, select initial trim points using your best footage and choose advanced conversion settings. You then add your source files to a conversion list for batch processing into GoPro CineForm files. The CineForm files become the new source files for editing before final export to YouTube etc.

Import Images

Time lapse images can be imported directly from the SD card or saving all files to a folder on the computer. To import your images, click Import New Files on the left panel. Select any image in the folder and GoPro Studio will import all successive images as a video clip from the set of frames sequenced according to the individual file names.

Trimming

After you have imported the images to be compiled into a video clip, you can cut the unnecessary portion of the videos that you are not interested to include, this trimming or cutting should be done before you start the actual editing.

For that, click on the thumbnail of the videos and then on "play". This will result into playing the video. You can also drag the playback slider to quickly scroll to the required sections. There are two trimming buttons on the left of the Player Window that you can use for marking the beginning and ending of the clip which you want to include. In this way, you can select the length of the clip that you want to include in your video.

Changing rough video settings

In the bottom left hand corner of the Player Window you can see the Advanced Setting button. The Advanced Settings menu can be used to add effects such as deflicker and removing the fisheye from the clip. The Advanced Settings menu can also be used to coarsely adjust the length of the time lapse by changing the frame rate. Fine adjustment to the frame rate can be done in STEP2 after converting the file. Note that the default length of the video clip at approximately 30 frames per second will be displayed in the left Import New Files sidebar.

Ensure to check the "Remember Settings" button after you have made changes.

Adding files to conversion list

Select the clip from the left Import New Files sidebar and then, click Add Clip To Conversion List. The video clip will appear on the right Conversion List sidebar when added. If adding more than one clip just repeat the process to add them to your Conversion List panel.

Once you have added all the clips to conversion list, convert them by clicking on Convert All button. On the completion of conversion, a pop up message labeled Proceed to Step: 2 will appear. Click on that button to proceed to the editing section.

STEP2: EDIT

The EDIT work area, or “EDIT Room”, is where you do further trimming, combine multiple videos on a storyboard and add effects, music and titles. If you have already converted your source files to GoPro CineForm files, click the STEP 2 EDIT button at the top of the user interface to switch to the EDIT Room.

Select file to edit

Now that the images have been compiled into a video, drag the video(s) from the Media sidebar and place them on the timeline just under the center Player Window to begin editing using the controls in the right hand editing sidebar.

Using any of the sliders in the right hand editing menu will allow for you to adjust the video effects. For fine adjustments, use the text-box to the right of any slider to input a precise value.

NOTE: If your camera has been perfectly framed and the exact interval selected prior to capturing the time lapse footage, you may not need to perform any editing and can skip directly to the STEP3: Export section.

Adjust the video length/speed

The speed of the video can be altered to fine tune the length of the video by clicking the VIDEO CONTROLS header in the right hand sidebar to open the video length adjustment options. By dragging the SPEED(%) slider, you can make adjustments to the video’s frame rate to change the length of the video. In this VIDEO CONTROLS menu, a FADE IN and FADE OUT effect can be added to the video so that the video will not begin and end suddenly.

Adjust the frame

Standard GoPro images are taken using the 4:3 ratio. The PRESETS menu allows for you to adjust the layout to a standard Widescreen 16:9 ratio if desired.

Click the FRAMING CONTROLS in the right hand sidebar to view the framing options. This will allow for you to zoom into a section of the video and center of the frame.

If your camera is slightly skewed, using the ROTATION slider will allow for you to tilt the video until the frame is level.

A tip for rotating the video for leveling is to fully zoom into an object that you know is level. Adjust the vertical and/or horizontal sliders to place this object on the edge of the Player Window. Now you can use the ROTATION slider to make fine adjustments to the frame until it is perfectly level. The horizon can be a good reference point.

Once the video has been leveled, switch between adjusting the ZOOM, HORIZONTAL, and VERTICAL sliders to center the frame of the video on the required section.

Adjust the color balance

The WHITE BALANCE and IMAGE CONTROLS allow for you to adjust the video clip to correct color balances or provide a more vibrant look.

For a clip with a white element in the scene, click on the PICK button in the WHITE BALANCE header and then click on the white element of your image in the Player Window to have GoPro Studio automatically adjust the white balance based on that element.

The SPLIT POINT option at the top of the right hand editing toolbar allows you to easily see the effects of your color adjustments by splitting the image into ‘before’ (uncorrected) and ‘after’ (corrected) sides. The left side of the image is the ‘before’ view while the right side of the image is the ‘after view’. The slider lets you choose where that split occurs in the image frame.

Alternatively, when using the WHITE BALANCE and IMAGE CONTROLS menus, clicking on the ON/OFF Toggle button (which looks like an eyeball) will toggle the color adjustments ON or OFF for the selected clip on your Storyboard. You can use this to quickly switch back and forth between seeing the clips with the adjustments applied and the original images.

There are also VIDEO PRESETS that can be used to add a standard color effect to the video.

Add smooth transition effects using keyframes

Keyframes can be used in a video clip to provide a smooth transition between effects. Keyframes are available in the FRAMING CONTROLS, IMAGE CONTROLS and WHITE BALANCE menus. This can be helpful to adjust for the change in light throughout a day long time lapse. For construction, the FRAMING CONTROLS keyframe can allow for you to slowly zoom out from the foundation work as a tall building is erected or progress continues adjacent to the starting frame.

Start by locating the video frame where you would like the transition to start. In the FRAMING CONTROLS, IMAGE CONTROLS or WHITE BALANCE menus, click the add keyframe (+) button to mark the beginning of the transition. The (+) button should change to a (-) button to indicate that the keyframe has been added to this frame. Clicking the (-) button will remove the currently selected keyframe. Note that you can add a keyframe for each of the three editing menus.

Located the point of the video where you would like the transition to end. You can add the second keyframe by clicking the add keyframe (+) button or adjusting the values in the menu where the keyframe was added. The (+) button should change to a (-) button to indicate that the keyframe has been added. Adjust the values in the editing menu to the desired set the end of the transition point.

To edit each keyframe, when the video is paused, you can skip to the location of each keyframe by using the “Step to previous keyframe (<)” and “Step to next keyframe (>)” button that are located on either side of the “Add or Remove keyframe” button. Clicking the (-) button will remove the currently selected keyframe and the RESET button will clear all keyframes.

Split the video into separately editable sections

If a sharp transition between two sets of frames is required, the “split button” (razor icon) below the time bar can be used to split the current clip into two clips that can be edited separately. To locate the transition point, pause the video near the transition and use the “Step Back” or “Step Forward” arrow buttons to locate the exact frame to start editing.

Removing a section of unneeded footage.

The split button can be used to remove a single frame or section of video footage that is unneeded. Such as when an object is blocking the camera view or extended periods without progress. Locate the start and end of the footage to be removed and use the “split button” to isolate the section into a separate clip. Click and drag the isolated clip out of the timeline to remove it from the video.

Correct camera movement

Splitting the video into separately editable frames can be useful to fix issues such as a difference in camera alignment between video sections due to slight movement in the camera placement. Once the video has been split into separate clips, use the FRAMING CONTROLS menu to separately align each video clip. To check your alignment between the two clips, use the “step back” and “step forward” arrow buttons to compare the two sections.

Add audio soundtrack

Adding music is like adding additional video clips, just click on "Media" and select the audio file that you want to add. Drag the audio recording into the Storyboard timeline. There are two separate audio file sections in the Storyboard timeline so you can add a voice recording to the video clip in addition to the music soundtrack to play simultaneously.

To select a specific section of the soundtrack to match to your video file, the audio file can also be trimmed. Select the audio file in the storyboard timeline so that it is highlighted yellow before clicking and dragging the Storyboard Time Indicator or pausing the video at the desired trim point. The “razor icon” can be used to split the selected audio file.

The time for the audio file to begin can also be adjusted by clicking and dragging the position of the audio file along the Storyboard Timeline. Trimmed audio sections can be removed by dragging them out of the time line.

STEP3: Export

When you are done editing your project in the EDIT Room, click the STEP 3 EXPORT button to launch the EXPORT Window. Here you’ll be able to choose from a variety of preset export formats optimized for Vimeo, YouTube, and other devices. Rather than using the optimized presets, you can also adjust the settings individually by going to the Custom option.

After adjusting the export format, click the Export button. A new browser window will open, where you can select the filename and location to save the video file.

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